Are any of you old enough to remember carbon copies?  Yeah, I thought so.  Back in those days if you wanted several copies of something, you could put a piece of carbon paper between blank pages of paper, and type or write what you wanted on the original, and all the copies would read the same as the top page.  You didn’t have to proofread each page to see if there were any mistakes on them, for they would all be alike.
But what about the Church?  is the church today where you go a carbon copy of the first church body that the original disciples started? If so, there will be loving fellowship accompanied by signs, wonders and miracles, just like in the first church.  And if not, WHY NOT?  Well, it’s probably because the traditions of men have taken precedence over the Word of God. Have you ever noticed the people Jesus had trouble with were the religious people of the day, who would rather please men than please God?  The apostle Paul said it was happening in his day, and so it doesn’t surprise me that it’s still happening today.
It also doesn’t surprise me that many people today don’t even want to step foot in a church, because it isn’t any different in there than it is out on the street.  But that is not how it’s supposed to be.  The church, and I’m referring to the Body of Christ here, should be a safe haven for the hurting and lost and sick to go to.  Instead, many are met with “holier than thou” attitudes of religious people.  Now, that “church” may be a home church, or an organized denomination, it doesn’t matter.  Church should be church, wherever it’s found, and it should be a carbon copy of what Jesus taught His disciples, and what the first church looked like in the Book of Acts.  And if it isn’t, it doesn’t matter what it’s called, it’s not a copy of the original, and should be rejected as rubbish.
The Book of Jude, just 25 verses long, gives us some really sound advice, of which I will use some of here, and being he was there in the beginning of the first church, we can gauge what it looked like in the beginning.  We will call it “Page 1”, warning us to copy Christ Jesus and to reject false teachings.  It has been those false teaching that have crept in that has changed the face of the original church into the “gutless gospel” we are being preached today.  Thus we have ended up with “carbon copies” of the original church that in no way resembles the original whatsoever, in word OR deed.
Jud 1:3  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Jud 1:4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:5  I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Jud 1:6  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Jud 1:7  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Jud 1:8  Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
Jud 1:9  Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
Jud 1:10  But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
Jud 1:11  Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
Jud 1:12  These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Jud 1:13  Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
Jud 1:14  And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
Jud 1:15  To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
Jud 1:16  These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
Jud 1:17  But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Jud 1:18  How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
Jud 1:19  These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Jud 1:20  But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Jud 1:21  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Jud 1:22  And of some have compassion, making a difference:
Jud 1:23  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Jud 1:24  Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Jud 1:25  To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Indeed, it is impossible to improve on what Jude said here.  The next time you go to church, compare it carefully to what the original looked like, and if you don’t find it to be an exact copy of the original, with the accompanying fruits of the Spirit, take my advice.   Look for the sign above the door that says EXIT, and USE it. If enough of God’s children do so, maybe the so-called “churches” will get the message and go back and find out what the original was like, and do likewise.  You will be happy, and most importantly, GOD will be happy!  If a carbon copy of the first church is good enough for God, it’s good enough for the rest of us.